Don't Run – YET!
The most common New Year's resolutions involve getting in shape. Getting in shape is a great idea. If you have been getting out of shape for decades, don't expect to get back in shape in a month. Take it easy. Give yourself a chance. Going full bore into an exercise program will probably end up in failure by the end of January.
Start from the ground up. The first thing that you will need is a good pair of shoes. Go to a local running store. Explain your plan to them. They will get you the right shoes. A good pair of shoes should last you 400 – 500 miles. They will last longer if you only use them to walk or run. It is better to replace them too soon than to late. Old shoes can lead to injuries as quickly as the wrong shoes. You can retire them, to being your knock around shoes and get more use out of them. Bring those shoes back to the running store and they can analyze your stride from your shoes for your next pair of shoes.
Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to yourself. The first goal is to get moving for 30 minutes. DO NOT HIT THE GROUND RUNNING. That can lead to soreness, injuries, and quitting. Start out walking with your natural pace. Do that for 30 minutes. If you find yourself getting a little tired – rest or walk really slow. When you feel better go back to your natural pace. Your first major goal is to be able to walk 30 minutes at your natural pace. Some of you may be able to do that right away. If you can't don't worry – work towards it.
Your second goal is to be able to walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes. Start out at a brisk pace. If you get tired slow back down to your natural pace. Once you feel your heart rate come down, go back to the brisk pace. You can structure this if you want. Walk at a brisk pace for a minute, then natural pace for a minute to get to your 30. As you progress, you can walk for 90 seconds at a brisk pace then, walk at a natural pace for a minute. Structure illustrates progress. Some people work better with structure. Other people enjoy the freedom of just getting out there. There is no one right way to do it. Do what works for you.
Being able to walk at a brisk pace is great. If you want to stop there, great! A 30 minute brisk walk every day is terrific. Consider signing up for a local 5k run/walk event. Most of these events are split pretty evenly between walkers and runners. Walking at a brisk pace for a 5k (3.1miles) is a significant achievement. It also can get you to meet people with a healthy mindset. Check out the Truckin' Runners facebook group. We are also split between runners and walkers from the trucking industry. We motivate each other. Outside help is good, but it is no replacement for your own motivation.
It isn't easy to for an over the road trucker to find time to exercise. It is worth it.